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taylor desseyn
taylor desseyn

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In Case of Emergency Break Glass: Layoff Edition

Hey All,

I’m going to get straight to the point here. Times are tough, and we’re all seeing layoffs throughout the tech world. But what happens when it’s you who gets laid off? We can all agree it’s easy to find yourself running around panic screaming (metaphorically…. or literally), so I’ve put together an emergency plan of action for when you have to pull the alarm.

If you would like me to talk you through the plan, tune in here:

Guidance Counselor 2.0 + Break The Glass (Solo Show)

And here’s for putting in your Emergency binder:

Day One— Layoff

  • Hey, you were laid off today. It happens. It happens a lot, actually. Unstable markets, budgets, over hiring— try your best not to take it personally. Your life and career belong only to you, not where you were employed.

Day Two— Today is for you.

  • Take the day off. Your brain needs a break, and you don’t need to start making moves based on emotion.
  • Make a list of the things you loved about your last job, the things you hated and a list of things you’re passionate about or would want to pursue.

Day Three— Resume Building

  • Your job search is now a full-time job. 8-5. Everyday. Stay in a routine.
  • Make an email specifically for your job search. This ensures all your communication goes to a separate and organizable space.
  • Update your resume. Even easier, here’s a resume template to use.

Your resume should be:

  • Quantitative data: don’t list tools you’ve used, list things you’ve built. A resume should be achievement based not task oriented. If you are a full stack dev and thinking of applying for front-end and back-end jobs, make two different resumes to suit each skill set.
  • Reviewed: seems obvious, but have someone look over what you’ve written before you start submitting your resume. Plus your peers and friends may have more insight into some of the great things about you that you may have missed. Your resume is a brag sheet, and that’s okay. This is not a time to be humble. Don’t forget to vary your soft and hard skills.
  • Letters of recommendation: if you think you’ll need these, start reaching out now. If possible, request specific things for people to talk about (i.e. your work ethic on one, your skills on another, your character on the next). Help give employers the full picture of you.

Day Four— Get yourself online.

  • Update your LinkedIn: Make sure that your profile has a bunch of keywords (aka make sure that you’re searchable). This is the space for your technical skills and jargon. Update your photo and cover image too while you’re in there.
  • Set up your profile on job sites: There’s no such thing as a good job board these days, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them. Get your resume uploaded and your profile completed.
  • Here are some job sites to start with: Dice (for tech-specific jobs), Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster (yeah that’s still a thing), AngelList

Day Five to ? — It’s go time.

  • LinkedIn: message people and engage with their content
  • Company First Approach: If you know there’s somewhere specific you want to work (think back to your list from Day Two), start contacting and interacting with people from that company. Maybe you love to travel, start connecting with people from AirBnb.
  • Job First Approach: you know the role you want to fill, let’s start searching. Be sure to keep your filter tight. When you find a job you’re interested in, start messaging people from that company.
  • Check to see if you know anyone at the company before you start messaging people. Most people are happy to give you an introduction, you just have to ask.
  • Set up a database: keep track as best you can of where you submit your resume, where you are with the hiring process with companies, etc. Trello works great for that, but use whatever form works best for you.
  • Follow-ups and timing are everything.
  • Content: make a reminder to put out one piece of content about your job search a day.
  • Keep a list of interview questions you missed, and crowd-source the answers. It’s easy content and a cheat sheet for you to use in the future.
  • Recruiters: Saving the best for last. Use us. No one understands the job market more than a recruiter.Get us in your daily rotation early
  • Spend one day messaging recruiters on LinkedIn and the next messaging people at the company directly.
  • When you find ones you like, keep us all on a BCC email and check in with us.“Hey, I’m still on the market. I’m looking for (this role) and have (these skills).”
  • Don’t stop networking.
  • Interviewing is just forced networking. Don’t lose contact with these people as soon as you leave the call. Follow and connect with people.
  • Try to have one net new contact a day. This can be a phone call, video chat, or whatever works best for you.
  • Keep talking to people online. Like, comment, share, and engage. You’re just a few clicks away from making a new connection.

Don’t panic. You've got this.

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